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  #1  
Old 03-23-2014, 10:06 PM
Hugh-H Hugh-H is offline
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Default Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Hello,

We have some HDX2 and HDX3 systems that we've deployed in old-style MacPros, Sonnet expansion chassis, and Magma expansion chassis. In some situations the HDX fans come on without a good reason.

Searching the web it seems that some folks are complaining bitterly about it, others are noting nothing unusual. We're capable of analyzing this, so we did temp testing on the cards. They are no hotter, and each individual chip on the board is no hotter, then when they don't come on but for some reason the firmware on the hdx card thinks they should come on.
Summary - the fans are not on because they need to be, they are on because the firmware is not programmed correctly.

Also, the firmware on the hdx card only has two states - fan off or fan on. Fan on is absurdly loud. Every other temp controlled fan has a variable speed fan, the hdx seemingly does not.
Again - the firmware is incorrect.

We do the largest television shows in the US. We are able to move all our noise-producing gear to other areas of our broadcast truck, but the ProTools systems must be in the audio room. The hdx cards' fans coming on at ridiculous volume FOR NO GOOD REASON is not usable. I say "no good reason" because we've PROVEN that - NO TEMP ON THE CARD IS ELEVATED.
THE FIRMWARE IS DEFECTIVE.

Please release a firmware update for this, it's simply bad engineering and is killing our ability to use ProTools. Folks are beginning to wonder where our Nuendo systems are.

Hugh
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2014, 01:21 AM
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JFreak JFreak is online now
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

I also hope that there would be a way to get rid of fan noise altogether. Avid, please, do something about it. Because the fan is either on or off, you need to raise the temp treshold. Chip vendor tells you what is the safe temp and fan vendor tells you how fast they can cool it down. Narrow down that safety margin.

Hugh,

For now you just have to install the HDX cards to expansion chassis and move that away from where you mix. Or the whole PT computer. There are products like this which makes it possible to move your computer (and fan noise) further away from your display. As long as you're in the bluetooth range, you can keep using your keyboard and mouse/trackpad wirelessly. But there are solutions for "ethernetting" those as well.
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Last edited by JFreak; 03-24-2014 at 01:22 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2014, 01:42 AM
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mastertstudio mastertstudio is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh-H View Post
Hello,

We have some HDX2 and HDX3 systems that we've deployed in old-style MacPros, Sonnet expansion chassis, and Magma expansion chassis. In some situations the HDX fans come on without a good reason.

Searching the web it seems that some folks are complaining bitterly about it, others are noting nothing unusual. We're capable of analyzing this, so we did temp testing on the cards. They are no hotter, and each individual chip on the board is no hotter, then when they don't come on but for some reason the firmware on the hdx card thinks they should come on.
Summary - the fans are not on because they need to be, they are on because the firmware is not programmed correctly.

Also, the firmware on the hdx card only has two states - fan off or fan on. Fan on is absurdly loud. Every other temp controlled fan has a variable speed fan, the hdx seemingly does not.
Again - the firmware is incorrect.

We do the largest television shows in the US. We are able to move all our noise-producing gear to other areas of our broadcast truck, but the ProTools systems must be in the audio room. The hdx cards' fans coming on at ridiculous volume FOR NO GOOD REASON is not usable. I say "no good reason" because we've PROVEN that - NO TEMP ON THE CARD IS ELEVATED.
THE FIRMWARE IS DEFECTIVE.

Please release a firmware update for this, it's simply bad engineering and is killing our ability to use ProTools. Folks are beginning to wonder where our Nuendo systems are.

Hugh
+1
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2014, 04:10 AM
Pete Gates Pete Gates is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

I would love this to be addressed. One of the reasons I was glad to say goodbye to my Fairlight was that I could have the Mac sitting right next to me, great for my "guerrilla" style of dubbing/editing. The Fairlight mainframe was incredibly noisy. The HDX cards aren't as noisy but I'm still having to investigate silent racks etc and I really didn't want that.

Pete

Last edited by Pete Gates; 03-24-2014 at 05:29 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2014, 07:23 PM
Brandonx1 Brandonx1 is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh-H View Post
Hello,

We have some HDX2 and HDX3 systems that we've deployed in old-style MacPros, Sonnet expansion chassis, and Magma expansion chassis. In some situations the HDX fans come on without a good reason.

Searching the web it seems that some folks are complaining bitterly about it, others are noting nothing unusual. We're capable of analyzing this, so we did temp testing on the cards. They are no hotter, and each individual chip on the board is no hotter, then when they don't come on but for some reason the firmware on the hdx card thinks they should come on.
Summary - the fans are not on because they need to be, they are on because the firmware is not programmed correctly.

Also, the firmware on the hdx card only has two states - fan off or fan on. Fan on is absurdly loud. Every other temp controlled fan has a variable speed fan, the hdx seemingly does not.
Again - the firmware is incorrect.

We do the largest television shows in the US. We are able to move all our noise-producing gear to other areas of our broadcast truck, but the ProTools systems must be in the audio room. The hdx cards' fans coming on at ridiculous volume FOR NO GOOD REASON is not usable. I say "no good reason" because we've PROVEN that - NO TEMP ON THE CARD IS ELEVATED.
THE FIRMWARE IS DEFECTIVE.

Please release a firmware update for this, it's simply bad engineering and is killing our ability to use ProTools. Folks are beginning to wonder where our Nuendo systems are.

Hugh
I agree with you that the fans are loud and probably don't need to be on but they put them there for a reason. Why not buy a iso cabinet. The hdx fans are not so loud that an iso cab couldn't reduce the audible noise significantly.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2014, 07:47 PM
Hugh-H Hugh-H is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Hello Brandon,

We have a fleet of broadcast television trucks, the best in the business. As noted above the noise producing gear is moved out of the audio room, items such as the audio router, the desk electronics, the DAs, etc. However the workstations need to be in the audio room for the operators' convenience, we're quite familiar with kvms and iso boxes. An iso box is not an option in a broadcast truck.

Fans do not come on because they need to, fans come on because firmware programmed by a human has a set of conditions that turns the fan on. As I mentioned, in the case of hdx it's not temperature, we've proven that each individual component on the card is not elevated in temperature. In other words it's human error that needs to be corrected.

Hugh
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2014, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Hugh,

Read my post (#2) and think if you can just come up with a solution that throws the whole computer further away. All you need is display, keyboard, and a mouse/trackpad. That is easily "ethernetted".
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2014, 08:25 AM
Brandonx1 Brandonx1 is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh-H View Post
Hello Brandon,

We have a fleet of broadcast television trucks, the best in the business. As noted above the noise producing gear is moved out of the audio room, items such as the audio router, the desk electronics, the DAs, etc. However the workstations need to be in the audio room for the operators' convenience, we're quite familiar with kvms and iso boxes. An iso box is not an option in a broadcast truck.

Fans do not come on because they need to, fans come on because firmware programmed by a human has a set of conditions that turns the fan on. As I mentioned, in the case of hdx it's not temperature, we've proven that each individual component on the card is not elevated in temperature. In other words it's human error that needs to be corrected.

Hugh
Explain to me why you can't rack your mac in a iso rack. I know you aren't just setting the mac on the floor. So you have a rack in there with the computer in it. Why can't you just switch the rack out of an iso rack? Yes the fans on the cards are too loud but hd hardware has been loud for years. I had a magma that housed my hd 4 system that was crazy loud. I had to put it into an iso rack.
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2014, 03:04 PM
Hugh-H Hugh-H is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

Hello,

Quote:
Explain to me why you can't rack your mac in a iso rack.
Space is the primary reason, it's a broadcast truck and space is limited. An iso box is generally larger than a rack width especially if it's designed to hold rack gear. We already equip our trucks with noise rooms for the noisiest of gear (combined fan noise there is greater than 90dBsplA).

Hugh
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2014, 03:58 PM
propower propower is offline
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Default Re: Absurd and arbitrary HDX fan noise

I made a very good living for 30 years with emphasis on thermal design

Either the card needs the cooling or not. If it could have been engineered to have a passive cooling scheme or minimally noisy low rev fan it should have been done. We are talking a $6000 card right ...

Whether the OP has truly tested all the worst case use scenarios (or understand how to extrapolate from IC case temp to internal die junction temp) is unknown but certainly a bi state fan is bush league....
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